We make holes in teeth!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chicago Again

So I finally got there, got to Chicago. That was last week, of course. And it's already Tuesday as I sit down to start writing this. So what's taken me so long? Well, it was a hectic trip, as you'll see. And I came home and just kept drinking and piling it on myself that before I knew it I was sick. Again. So here I am, sorta still sick, a few days off a story I should have written earlier. Well, I got there, so here it is, in a timeline format, with pictures and videos. Not many, but something.


The night before, Nat makes a nice meal. At this stage it was over a week ago so I haven't the foggiest idea what we had but I remember it being good. A table full of empty dishes always indicates that you got some good food on. I'm trying, but just can't remember and empty plates don't ring a bell. We often use that bowl for noodles though. So my guess is noodles and some sort of greens.

After dinner I partake in 2 glasses of red wine. Why do I drink wine when I don't much care for it? I don't know. I'm a beer guy, through and through. I guess it was there, and it spoke to me in that "I'm a bottle of wine and, well, you know, I don't really speak so whatever's going on is all in your head" kind of way.


5:30 I am up. I eat breakfast and have my first cup of coffee. What's the over/under for number of cups of coffee on this trip? 15? 2000? It's cold outside, having snowed a ton the day before which also means that I don't get out on the bike for 2 days before I leave, plus 2-3 days while I'm out there. Either way, it translates to it being cold out. But I'm going to Chicago so I'm bound to be cold anyway, right?

6:15 I start my car to warm it up, and the door won't close. I decided to drive to the airport and use the short-term parking. Check it out. I'll be there 2 days and 5 hours, roughly. That will cost me $75 to drive myself both ways. Last trip the car service was $150 one way. Screw that. While it's not my money that's a little absurd.

6:30 The warming up of the car allows the door to shut, thankfully. I take off for the airport as the sun rises and it is a stunningly beautiful day. The trees are covered in snow. Very nice start. Traffic to the airport is light.

7:35 I am checked in and I get coffee #2 at terminal A14. If anyone fails to use the online check-in, they're a fool. It totally removes the need to stand in line at the Departure counter. Why would you not do this? I drink my coffee at the terminal, waiting for the hour to drain away while I read.

8:30 Did I ever mention I hate airplanes? Well I do. Maybe not hate, but there's something about a multiple-ton hunk of steel in the air that doesn't sit right with me. There are no delays and we board right at 8:30. I get on late since I sit in Economy Plus and have the front row behind the "business class" which means they get a curtain drawn between them and us plebes. I drink coffees #3 and #4, watch 2 episodes of Scrubs, and read. There is no turbulence, the flight is uneventful. We land early.

11:00 I am in the office already. I consume coffees #5 and #6 and have then had enough. Travel always makes me drink copious amounts of coffee and they have reasonable coffee there. So I partake in free and decent. I get a turkey sandwich for lunch under the guise that I can maintain some sort of health. We then launch into a sporadic fight to get all our normal work for the day done, which renders this day useless in terms of me learning anything on my first day out here. I sit down with someone for a little bit but we just go over stuff I'm already pretty familiar with. Too much work to do on our NY-side of the fence for me to spend too much on this.

5:00 I check-in to the hotel.

5:30 I at the bar for the next 8+ hours, where I drain far too many beers and eat far too much food. It's good to hang out with the guys out here. They're definitely more of a team than the NY side. I've never gone out once socially with the NY people, and I doubt I ever will. I fit in well with these guys as they're all my age or younger. We eat and drink more.

2:30 I take a video of myself, because I can, I guess.


7:30 I wake up with a light headache. I hurt, maybe not as much as I should but only because I stopped drinking hours before I went to bed. The beer just wasn't tasting good anymore. When you get to that point, it's best to stop. In college, you plow on because you're an idiot. But at this stage of the game, it's best to stop.

8:30 Out of the hotel and walking to the office. If you check the temps it's more or less the same as NJ. But the real bitch is that it's windy as you can imagine a city named "the windy city" would be. It's actually worse. I have a 7 block walk to the office and I stop halfway there to get coffee. By the time I get there I'm totally freezing. I can't imagine living here and riding a bike outside all year around. Incomprehensible.

9:00 I grab some breakfast and coffee #2 then start the day. The morning is more or less me wondering why i would drink so much as well as taking care of some NY-side details from the day before. I knock out my required workload early so I can try and make some use of the trip.

12:00 Group lunch. The day hasn't been productive and we as a group are more or less hungover. We have a meeting in the afternoon to get some things in-line. I'm having fun but the trip wasn't exactly required or anything. But again, good to show my face and be part of the team. I like coming out.

2:00 We have our meeting and I do some one-on-one with one of the girls and pick up some knowledge. The afternoon is more productive so it makes it more worth it. Just getting your feet wet with the code is worth it. It will be good to code again on some level.

5:30 Just my boss and I go out that night, a mere 6 hours this time. It's a different bar with a much better beer selection, for which I'm very grateful for. Everyone else begs off which leaves the 2 of us which is all good. We actually get along pretty well. I have a chicken and guacamole sandwich with a side of hummus. And like 7 beers. As the night winds down, I say, "Sure, just 1 more."

11:00 I leave the bar and I am brutally cold, just shiveringly cold. It's a tough thing to think about living here. Wow, that would be hard.


6:00 I wake up tired, and again, hurting. What is wrong with me? I've spent more time in the bar than in bed the last 2 days.

6:30 Showered and out of the hotel, in a taxi to the airport. Traffic is light enough and we make it with no issue. I am spaced out, to say the least.

7:05 Through security but not early enough to get stand-by on the early plane. So it's me and 2 cups of coffee in the terminal. I also get a bagel but it sucks. I mean, it just sucks. I also find a revolving seat cover on a toilet.

8:30 I board the plane, again perfectly on time. I'm losing my dislike of airplanes I think. This trip, only the takeoff unnerves me a bit, and not that much. Landing is no issue. I read the entire time, too tired to fish through my bag and get my DVD player or iPod. I have 1 cup of coffee making it 14 cups on the trip.

12:35 I am back home, where I immediately get right back to work and lay down whenever possible. Nat and Julia are at the in-laws today so I get a quiet day. Overall good. But for no good reason I have a few beers that night. Truly, I'm an idiot.

Ok, so that was my trip. It's Wednesday morning and my boss and his boss are back in town tomorrow. So it's only 1 night this time. But the last time we went out in NYC I fell asleep on the train ride home and woke up only because I set my phone alarm. I then called in a sick day after that. These guys are a bad influence on me.

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